Puppy love… .. awww we all know how the song goes. Learning how to bond with your dog and how to bond with your puppy might not be something you’ve given much thought to, we tend to take it as a given, don’t we? Here,, we’re going to teach you how to bond with your puppy and create a connection with your furry companion, ready to make a lifetime of memories together.
Before we begin teaching you about bonding with your puppy. Have you downloaded the Zigzag puppy training app? It will walk you through all your pups developmental stages and training needs. It’s tailored to your puppies breed type and comes complete with a team of qualified experts, available 24/7 to help with whatever your pup may or may not be doing quite right.
Why focus on bonding with your new puppy
Puppies need security in order to mature into confident, independent adults. They need to trust we’ll be there for them, this comes from creating a bond with your dog.
You might be in a hurry to impress your friends with obedience or trick training like playing dead. But the most important thing you can do when you first bring your bundle of joy home is to build a bond with your new puppy. It lays the foundation for your relationship with your dog, so don’t skip over this.
Benefits of a strong bond with your puppy
A strong bond with your dog is essential for a happy and fulfilling life together. Developing this bond whilst your puppy is young will help your dog learn through not only formal obedience training but also from all your interactions with your pup.
Many owners believe that if a puppy is too strongly bonded to them, they will develop problems such as separation anxiety. But the opposite is actually true. A puppy or dog that is made to feel secure is less likely to suffer from any anxiety issues.
How do I bond with my puppy?
- Use Food Rewards
The way to many pups’ hearts is really through their stomach, and you can easily use food to bond with your dog. Using rewards and treats will have your pup seeing you as their bestie in no time.
- Be Consistent
Puppies learn from repetition and consistency, this is a great way of bonding with a new puppy, showing them that you’re safe and dependable. When they know what to expect they feel more secure, so set up a good routine for eating, exercise, playing and resting for you and your pup.
- Exercise together
Those that play together, stay together, right? Exercise, in the form of going for a walk or just playing fetch together is brilliant for bonding with a new puppy. Your pup will quickly learn how much fun you are. It’s great for your body and soul too, so win win.
- Offer comfort
When you first bring your puppy home, they will be scared, confused and missing their littermates. Don’t be tempted to leave them to ‘cry it out’, offer the comfort and reassurance they need. This teaches them they can trust and rely on you from the get go, and will help with bonding with a new puppy.
- Grooming is great
Grooming acts as a relaxing massage for your dog and will help build and maintain your bond. Research has also shown it’s great for our stress levels, too. If they enjoy being groomed by you, then it’s also a nice sign your puppy is bonding with you.
- Teach tricks
Teaching your puppy any new skill, obedience or tricks will help you grow a lifelong bond. Puppies and dogs love to learn and impress their teacher. You really can teach an old dog new tricks.
- Learn to speak ‘dog’
Dogs communicate using body language and will focus more on our facial expression and tone than the words we use. Communicate consistently with your dog to reduce confusion and improve your bond. Learn all you can about canine body language, this really will help you bond with your dog
- Give your pup space
Whilst young puppies generally don’t enjoy being alone, they do still need plenty of rest and bonding with your puppy doesn’t equal smothering them! Your puppy will appreciate somewhere quiet where they can catch up on some much-needed sleep. Sleep helps them process all the learning they are doing, and that includes learning all about you.
- Pet and snuggle with your puppy
Go on, admit it, you kind of love those puppy snuggles. Physical contact from stroking and cuddling releases all kinds of happy chemicals for both your pup and you and really helps with bonding with your puppy. So go on, you have our permission to snuggle to your heart’s content.
Signs your puppy is bonding with you
Puppies don’t play games with your heart and hide their love, they really let it show. If your pup has started to bond with you, you will find them following you around, wagging their tail when near you, bumping and rubbing up against you and sleeping close to you.
If you’re not quite feeling the love from your puppy and in need of cupid, check out our article 10 ways to get your puppy to like you. After this, you’ll get some clear signs your puppy is bonding with you.
How can Zigzag help with your pup’s training
The Zigzag puppy training app really does make puppyhood a breeze for you and your pup, and is an easy way to learn how to bond with your dog. It offers simple to follow lessons specific to your pup’s breed type and age. All lessons use only positive reinforcement methods – you should always use this if you’re wanting to bond with your dog. You can work through at your pup’s pace, and it’s full of tips, videos and tools to help you along the road. If you get really stuck or confused by your pup’s behaviour, there’s a team of experts available 24/7 to ease your worries and get you back on track.
Will my puppy bond with one person?
Puppies often bond with one person and this tends to be whoever spends the most time with them, feeds them, plays with them or trains them. If you want your puppy to have an equal bond with family members and not just bond with one person then make a team effort and share out all the responsibilities, so that your puppy shares their love around.
How long does it take to bond with a puppy?
Bonding with a new puppy can really vary, so it’s not worth putting a timescale on it, you’ll soon see signs your puppy is bonding with you. Some puppies can take longer than others, for example if they weren’t handled much as puppies or came from rescue. Your puppies’ own personality and temperament will also have an impact on how long they take to bond with you.
Best age to bond with a puppy?
You can start bonding with a new puppy straight away as soon as you bring them home, they’ll be learning about you, and you’ll see signs that they’re bonding with you. If your puppy is nervous of you or has come from rescue then just take your time and go at your pups pace, this really is the best way to bond with your puppy, letting them have the time they need. Start off using food treats and toss them towards your pup. They will soon learn that you come in peace and want to be friends.
Learning how to bond with your dog is not always intuitive, and sometimes we put too much pressure on bonding with a new puppy. Pressure on us because we want them to love us, and pressure on them to constantly interact with us, something they need a break!